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Italian cannabis & psilocybin referendum gets 500k sigs (Newsletter: September 21, 2021)

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FL marijuana initiative; RI Senate president: Legalization deal “very close”; Lawmakers push Biden for clemency

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

In just a week, Italian activists have collected half a million signatures in a week for a referendum to decriminalize growing marijuana—and other psychoactive plants and fungi such as psilocybin mushrooms. The vote is expected to take place in the spring.

Rhode Island’s Senate president said lawmakers are “very close” to reaching a deal on a marijuana legalization bill that could be passed in a special session this fall.

Florida activists filed a new marijuana legalization initiative they hope to qualify for the 2022 ballot. The move comes after the state Supreme Court invalidated prior measures from this group and another for being “misleading” in light of federal law.

A group of 28 members of Congress sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to grant clemency to nearly 20,000 people in the federal prison system—including those with drug convictions.

/ FEDERAL

National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Gonzalez spoke about the evolution of drug policies in the U.S. and Latin America, and said that marijuana legalization is a state issue. (About 27:10 into the audio.)

The U.S. Department of Education said it did not have enough time to remove the drug conviction question from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid after Congress repealed the related penalty, and so it will remain for the next year even though answers to it will have no impact on eligibility.

A federal judge acquitted a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor of several charges but left standing his conviction on charges of extorting marijuana businesses.

Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA) tweeted, “Our sheriff’s department has been hard at work shutting down illegal marijuana grows in our communities. These are not small backyard operations- this is large-scale organized crime that threatens our safety, our water, and our environment.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, said marijuana legalization is a rare uniting political issue.

/ STATES

A New York senator hosted an event to help people expunge marijuana records.

Connecticut patients can begin growing their own medical cannabis on October 1.

South Dakota regulators are considering how to amend medical cannabis rules that were rejected by lawmakers.

California regulators are being sued for allegedly turning a “blind eye” to systemic flaws that foster an illegal mariijuana distribution market.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin about marijuana plant count inventories. Separately, they will host a cannabis social equity education session on Thursday.

Colorado regulators issued an update on average market rates for marijuana.

Ohio regulators will accept applications for medical cannabis dispensary licenses from November 4-18.

Utah regulators published an update on the medical cannabis program.

The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Licensing Workgroup will meet on Wednesday.

West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will meet on Thursday.

West Virginia regulators will host a medical cannabis patient signup event on September 29.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

The Chicago, Illinois City Council approved the mayor’s proposal to expand where marijuana businesses can be located.

More than 90 percent of Maine towns don’t allow recreational marijuana sales.

/ INTERNATIONAL

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly agreed to reschedule psilocybin to facilitate research on its medical benefits.

Zurich, Switzerland officials unveiled details for a marijuana legalization pilot program to launch next year.

Namibian activists are challenging the constitutionality of marijuana prohibition in court.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “people with cannabis purchases after legalization reduced significantly and persistently their cash spending and electronic transfers, indicating a shift from the black to the legal cannabis market.”

The University of Michigan is conducting a survey on the use and effects of psychedelics.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll paid for by a marijuana businesses advocacy group found that Michigan likely voters support placing restrictions and regulations on medical cannabis caregivers who cultivate for patients.

The Economic Policy Institute published a report about the benefits of unionization in the cannabis industry, which was touted by United Food and Commercial Workers.

AMVETS is hosting a forum on using medical cannabis to treat cancer on September 29.

/ BUSINESS

The former CEO of Ebony and others were charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with allegedly raising money for marijuana businesses but illegally using it for other purposes, including funding the magazine.

Delic Holdings Corp is acquiring Ketamine Wellness Centers Arizona LLC.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen is set to discuss is marijuana brand Houseplant at TechCrunch Disrupt this week.

Former wrestler The Godfather about the WWE’s stance on marijuana and said that Shane McMahon owns a cannabis business in California.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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